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Here's a little bit of sunshine for those who have long dreamed of becoming a school teacher or serving patients in disadvantaged neighborhoods but have decided against it because of mounting student loans: student loans don't matter.
Student loans that reach into the six-figure category are fairly common. Even with very low interest rates, these loans can take decades to pay off. This burden has traditionally driven students away from low-paying careers like teaching or volunteering in favor of more lucrative careers. A recent rise in student loan forgiveness programs, however, is making students take a second look.
Under the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007, students heading into public service careers can decrease, or eliminate altogether, their student loans. To mitigate the financial cost of schooling and the low pay in the public sector, the federal government will either reduce loan payments based on family size and income or forgive loans completely.